Published on May 12th, 2020 | by Justin G.
Semblant: Obscura (Frontiers, 2020)
It’s good to see the Frontiers label branching out into some of the more interesting and occasionally extreme corners of the melodic music scene. Brazilian band Semblant is a recent signing, and with their new album Obscura they bring some new ideas and new energy to the typically “safe” Frontiers roster.
Semblant has a really interesting sound that’s not always easy to pin down. At its heart, Obscura is a heavy metal album, and a very melodic one at that. But there are strong influences of thrash, gothic and more extreme metal all over this album. The heavy keyboard presence and vocal interplay between clean female singer Mizuho Lin and deep/growled male vocalist Sergio Mazul make it impossible not to think of Moonspell and Lacuna Coil circa 2000. Both singers have very distinct presences and plenty of power, and they pair very effectvely. And while some of these riffs are straight-up thrash, the melodies and solos could almost come from the latest Magnus Karlsson project.
Semblant was a very pleasant surprise. Not just because Obscura is well outside of the Frontiers comfort zone, but also because it isn’t just another “female-fronted operatic metal” album. There’s a lot going on beneath the surface, but even at first listen it makes a strong impression. Fans of Moonspell, early Lacuna Coil, Words Of Farewell and new Frontiers labelmates Seven Spires should check this one out.
Summary: Frontiers branches out into Moonspell/Lacuna Coil territory